February 2/9, 2015; Volume 28/Number 16
By Lisbeth Calandrino
In 2016, the The International Surface Event (TISE) will again be part of Design & Construction Week, which also encompasses the International Builders’ Show (IBS), Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), International Window Coverings Expo and Las Vegas Market. That means there will be plenty to see with lots of new business opportunities.
Design & Construction Week is a plus for us in the flooring business. This year I came in a day early so I could look through both the Builders’ Show and KBIS. It was an eye-opener for me in several ways. All I could think about was if I were in the flooring business this is where I would want to be.
These shows will stimulate your entrepreneurial spirit and provide you with new products and ideas. Think about what you can add to your sales to improve your profits. Many of you do more than floors. If you’re building showers why not offer glass doors, especially if you can get them at wholesale prices.
If you’ve been coming to Surfaces/StonExpo for the last 20 years, you might not take the show seriously or attend the show on “automatic pilot.” You visit with your main suppliers, look at a few others but probably don’t get very excited. This is an opportunity to get your “mojo” going.
I know Vegas is a fun place, but plan to take in as many educational seminars as you can. This is a rare opportunity to learn something new, especially with the ever-changing social media. This is a wonderful treat for your staff who would find products and education a huge motivation. I actually take an empty suitcase, fly Southwest because they won’t charge me for it, and bring home as many magazines and brochures as possible.
IBS is Jan. 19-21, and TISE opens Jan. 20. Come in on Jan. 18 or 19 so you can peruse the two shows before Surfaces. Make sure you register so you can attend all the shows with one badge. Check out the seminars and see if there’s anything that would be particularly useful.
Many of you are looking for interior designers in your communities; why not join the local KBIS while you’re in Vegas? You can connect with kitchen designers and see what type of events they might like. If they need CEUs, find out what they need and plan a session in your store.
Spend some serious time investigating the two shows prior to going to Vegas. Who do you want to meet? What products can make you money?
If you do new construction, this is the time to meet builders. I suggest you bring along your high-gloss brochure, a page of testimonials, photos of your work and do some serious networking. This is the time to find out what they’re planning on building so you can get a jump on the competition. Look for products you might specify and haven’t used before.
Look for new flooring materials at IBS. These are products a flooring contractor could offer as an upgrade. We are all looking for a competitive advantage, which comes from simply being different.
Connect with the builders’ associations and determine which ones would be helpful to you when you return home. If you have your “toe in the water” when it comes to kitchen design, this might be the time to dive in.
Next year is an opportunity to invigorate yourself and your staff. Who knows? Maybe you will hit on something that will change your whole game.